Sales of plus-sized women's clothing grew five percent last year, according to The NPD Group, as the category appears to have finally rebounded from the hit it took when the economy went into recession.
Sales of plus-sized garments were up across most channels, according to NPD, with department stores, e-commerce sites, off-price retailers and specialty chains all posting gains. E-commerce saw the greatest growth with a jump of 31 percent followed by department stores, which were up seven percent.
While the 55-64 age group represents the largest share of the market, sales to the 18-24 segment have risen 23 percent over the past year. Sales for women 25-34 grew 11 percent, according to NPD.
"Retailers and designers are now viewing this area as a growth opportunity, and today there are indeed more plus-sized choices in stores," said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group, in a statement.
The plus-sized market has recently gotten increased attention because of actress Melissa McCarthy's decision to launch her own line of plus-sized clothing called Pearl.
"When I go shopping, most of the time I'm disappointed," Ms. McCarthy, who studied at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology, told Redbook, "Two Oscars ago, I couldn't find anybody to do a dress for me. I asked five or six designers — very high-level ones who make lots of dresses for people — and they all said no."
Will Melissa McCarthy's Pearl line be successful or unsuccessful?